Save the 8th has issued a statement after various reports on the Government’s emerging messages on the referendum campaign.
Spokeswoman NiamhUí Bhrian said: “It is becoming more and more clear that for those in Government buildings, the concern is less about getting what they see as good legislation, and more about getting legislation that they think will pass the people. That is why the Government has responded to falling poll numbers for their abortion bill with two distinct new lines of argument.
The first line is to emphasise how “restrictive” the new abortion regime will be – this was dutifully and uncritically reported by several newspapers this morning. The people are being given an obvious choice – do they believe Leo Varadkar today, when he says this bill will be restrictive, or do they believe Leo Varadkar from 2010, when he said about any such bill that:
“I think where that's been brought in in countries it's more or less led to abortion on demand”?
This is the same “restrictive” legislation as that about which leading yes campaigner Dr. Peter Boylan remarked less than five weeks ago in the Sunday Times:
“I don’t really have a problem with them saying serious risk because if the woman regards it as serious then it is. It should be the woman’s assessment of the risk that counts”.
This raises two questions for Mr. Varadkar that should be reasonably easy for him to answer:
1) Was he wrong in 2010 when he said any such law would lead to abortion on demand, and if he was wrong, can he name a country where such a law has not lead to abortion on demand?
2) Does he agree with Dr. Peter Boylan, a leading campaigner on his own side, that Doctors will not play a major role in assessing the risks for an abortion after 12 weeks?
Separately, Minister Simon Coveney has, yet again, changed his position on the abortion legislation, and is out telling the public to trust politicians not to change their position on the abortion legislation.
Minister Coveney is the poster boy for why the Taoiseach was correct in 2010. Politicians cannot be trusted to stick to a position on abortion.
First he was against it, then he was against it in most circumstances, then he was against it up to 12 weeks, and now he is against it becoming more liberal than that. When Simon Coveney says he is against something, the only thing that means is that he will support it next year.
The public cannot trust politicians to have a restrictive law on abortion. All they have to do, to know that this statement is true, is to look at Mr. Coveney, and his Taoiseach.
Note to Editors:
The comment attributed to Mr. Varadkar in this press statement can be found here: http://www.thelifeinstitute.net/blog/2017/11/24/the-changing-positions-of-varadkar-and-harris-on-abortion/.
The comment attributed to Dr. Boylan in this press statement can be found here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/repeal-campaigners-fear-implications-of-serious-risk-proviso-6df3ndsbh